Scandinavian duo reflect on love and drinking and making one’s own decisions.
High Coast are a Swedish duo of Daniel Walke on gently finger-picked guitar and August Wegestål on a lap steel that can’t help but weep. It’s a combination that’s destined to produce wistful lyrical songs with an austere Scandicana edge. ‘Mind Pictures‘ is a five-song EP, which opens with the title track – a song of rootless and restless youth “Followed the river late at night, you said I should put up a fight / Guess I took another turn, and guess I made it out alright” unable to find a direction “Drank from a well of endless wine, stuck in these days of endless time” whilst going through rapid experiences and changes “Saw a mother giving birth, saw a seagull in the dirt / Saw the changing of the seasons, saw a man with endless thirst.” There’s the confusion of youth, and just the start of the understanding of the contradictions of the world and a perhaps naïve – or optimistic – faith in the possibilities of love. It sets the scene for the EP. ‘New in Town‘ is a late night – or early morning – reflection on the surprising way that things can turn out: “Your head on my pillow / Was nothing I planned / I never invited you around / I’m watching your chest / Rising up, falling down”
Not that even the good times are without regrets – ‘Stolen Champagne‘ could be a song of a wild and drunken night, capped with the bliss of passion – but for Daniel Walke it seems there’s always a nagging doubt that things can’t be taken just on their surface appearances as he reflects that “lately I’ve been nothing but comfort in your pain.” It’s a side of his character that emerges again on the EP’s closer ‘Windowsill‘, where picking up on love once more might be an error “you turned up out of the blue / Like you always do /
And you told me not to worry / But that’s all I ever do.”
‘Mind Pictures‘ is a fine example of the kind of melancholic americana that bring Great Lakes Swimmers to mind. And whilst this reviewer could certainly stand to hear more of the same ilk, it’s to be hoped that, like Tony Dekker, High Coast will also find their way to a happier world view in time.